UPDATE: BEC issues three infractions, two repealed
Both Earl/Schafer and Hutchinson/Ghuman’s infractions were dismissed on March 2.
Mar. 02, 2016
The Board of Elections Commissioners issued three infractions to two slates on Feb. 25 during the Missouri Students Association special presidential election.
The Hutchinson/Ghuman slate received two infractions. They were issued a warning for turning in election forms 5 and 6 late. Election Form 5 is the Report of Campaign Material and Election Form 6 is Posting of Campaign Materials. The slates must file with the BEC how and where they are advertising.
Both the Hutchinson/Ghuman slate and the Earl/Schafer slate each received one infraction for posting flyers in classrooms in Strickland Hall, which violates the Campus Buildings section of the BEC handbook. Each slate was issued a $100 fine.
The section reads: “In addition to flyers, ‘chalking’ the chalk/dry erase boards as well as mass flyer distribution in a classroom is NOT permitted.”
BEC Chairwoman Bridget Everson said the BEC is confident in their ruling because it is stated in the handbook.
Both slates appealed their infractions with the $100 fine. The Student Court accepted both appeals March 2 with seven votes for, zero against and two abstentions.
The court said the BEC Handbook is “ambiguous” in its Campus Buildings section. It states students may place posters on or in buildings, which could be mistaken to think they could place posters inside classrooms, the ruling said.
“This phrasing of this section is ambiguous and does not provide a clear guideline for the slates to operate by,” the ruling said.
The second reason the court appealed the infractions is the BEC Handbook is inconsistent with the M-Book about posting campaign materials on school property.
The M-Book said all posters can be placed on appropriate bulletin boards as long as the sponsoring organization is identified.
The court said slates could assume that with permission of the building manager or coordinator, they are allowed to post campaign materials on bulletin boards inside classrooms. In the BEC Handbook, it said slates are allowed to post in buildings with building managers’ approval, but not in classrooms.
“This produces inconsistency between the BEC and the M-Book, thus presenting further ambiguity for the slates,” the statement read.